Background Increasing access to STI resources and education for general practise (GP) and improving referral pathways to specialised STI care were key objectives of the 2006 STI Strategy, New South Wales (NSW). Prior GP STI education and support was ad hoc without strategic direction. No identifiable STI support or training was provided to GP nurses. In 2008 chlamydia was the most commonly reported STI, 200 per 105 and annual GP chlamydia testing rate for < 30yo, 7%.
Methods A multidisciplinary GP working group was created within the the newly established NSW STI Programs Unit in 2007. The group coordinated needs identification and development of resources and online and participatory learning packages for NSW GP. Recognised private and non-government GP training providers were identified to host and assist with training coordination for doctors and nurses.
Results STI management ‘tools’ and training modules focussed on chlamydia, the most common STI in NSW. Simple chlamydia testing and treatment provided an easy introduction to STI care. Resources developed include brief and comprehensive online training modules; locally facilitated, in person learning modules; tools for practise audit, STI testing in priority populations, partner notification and referral pathways; NSW Sexual Health Information telephone Line; competency standards for GP nurses. Resource and training promotion occurred through professional discipline newsletters and journal editorials, interviews and papers; ‘master classes’ and booths at conferences; and directly to individual doctors, including the NSW Chief Health Officer communiqué reminding GP of their responsibilities with STI partner notification. An external academic process and impact evaluation of the project revealed important GP learning preferences. Chlamydia testing rates have yet to be reassessed. Project scale awaits the results of a cluster randomised control trial, ACCEPt http://www.accept.org.au/
Conclusion A strategic approach to GP resource and training capacity development has been strengthened by concurrent planning, implementation and programme management.
- General Practice
- scale up